This section provides the visitor with the content and background for the subjects in the petroglyphs, such as humans, animals, and plants. It also provides interpretations of complex scenes that incorporate many figures that together convey an event. The scenes mostly depict activities relating to hunting and warfare. In this section, the visitor will learn about the people who created the rock art of Saudi Arabia and their environment.
Making up 25% of the world’s domestic sheep populations, the fat-tailed type is found in Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, North India, Western China and Central Asia. It dates back at least to 3000 BC, based on depictions found on stone vessels from Uruk, and the later Ur (2400 BCE), in Mesopotamia. These sheep were developed to increase the fat stored in their tails, which has [...]
The ibex is similar to the wild goat in terms of the shape of its head, body, and tail. Like the goat, it has scimitar horns that curve backward in a large semi-circle, but with the addition of a series of regularly spaced transverse ridges along the outer edge of the curve. Ancient artists depicted these ridges distinctly on the more realistic panels, however, where a caprine [...]
The dogs illustrated in the Neolithic hunting scenes at Jubbah and Shuwaymis appear to be medium-sized, with erect ears and a curly tail. They do not have a slender build or long legs like a saluki or other sighthounds, but rather have average length legs and a strong, but not massive body.
Human figures are of extreme interest, although their full meanings continue to elude us. Neolithic hunters in Ha’il province were tall, slender individuals with novel heads shaped like stovepipes with an angular symbol on top, probably connoting a headdress or a hairstyle. No features are portrayed on the individuals’ faces.